What to Look for in a Portable Battery Backup Power System

Posted May 22, 2024

In a world that relies heavily on technology and connectivity, power outages can disrupt daily life and productivity. Whether you're camping off the grid, experiencing frequent blackouts, or simply seeking peace of mind during emergencies, a portable battery backup power system can be a lifesaver. But with a plethora of options available on the market, how do you choose the right one for your needs? Here's a comprehensive guide on what to look for in a portable battery backup power system:

  1. Capacity and Power Output
  2. Portability and Size
  3. Input and Output Ports
  4. Charging Options
  5. Battery Type and Technology
  6. Safety Features
  7. Additional Features

Capacity and Power Output

The first consideration when selecting a portable battery backup power system is its capacity and power output. Capacity is measured in watt-hours (Wh) or ampere-hours (Ah) and indicates the amount of energy the battery can store. Determine your power needs by assessing the devices you'll be powering and their energy consumption. Look for a battery system with sufficient capacity to keep your devices running for the desired duration, whether it's a few hours or several days.

Portable lightweight lithium power station

Portability and Size

Portability is a crucial factor, especially if you plan to take your battery backup power system on the go. Consider the size, weight, and form factor of the battery system, ensuring that it's compact and lightweight enough to carry comfortably. Look for features such as built-in handles or carrying straps for added convenience. Additionally, opt for a rugged and durable design that can withstand outdoor adventures or rough handling during emergencies. Fortunately, portable lithium battery power stations like the Outlaw 1072S weigh in at around 32 pounds. Lithium batteries, on average, weigh 50 to 60 percent less than their lead-acid battery equivalents, making them the top choice when it comes to portability.

Input and Output Ports

Check the input and output ports available on the portable battery backup power system to ensure compatibility with your devices. Look for a variety of output ports, including AC outlets, USB ports, DC outlets, and even USB-C ports for charging smartphones, laptops, tablets, cameras, and other electronic devices. Pay attention to the power output of each port to ensure it can meet the requirements of your devices.

Charging Options

Evaluate the charging options available for recharging the portable battery backup power system. You should plan for multiple charging methods, such as wall outlets, solar panels, car chargers, or generators, to ensure flexibility and versatility, especially when access to power sources may be limited. Consider the charging time required to fully recharge the battery system and choose one that meets your needs, whether you need quick charging for emergencies or slower, sustainable charging for outdoor adventures.

Battery Type and Technology

Different battery chemistries offer varying performance characteristics, so consider the type of battery used in the portable backup power system. Lithium-ion batteries are lightweight, 99 percent efficient, have high energy density, and offer fast charging capabilities, making them ideal for portable applications. Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4 or LFP) batteries like RELiON batteries are especially known for their long cycle life and chemically stable technology, making them suitable for long-term backup power solutions. Additionally, lithium batteries offer 25 to 50 percent more usable capacity than lead-acid batteries, underscoring their value when it comes to providing a reliable backup power supply.

Tailgating portable power station

Safety Features

Safety should always be a top priority when selecting a portable battery backup power system. LFP batteries use the safest lithium battery chemistry available today, which is non-toxic, and not prone to thermal runaway or fire, unlike lithium batteries that are cobalt-based. In addition to battery chemistry, you should look for built-in safety features such as overcharge protection, over-discharge protection, short circuit protection, and temperature control mechanisms to prevent damage to the battery system and connected devices. All of RELiON’s lithium iron phosphate batteries include an internal or external battery management system (BMS) that includes the safety features listed above. Certifications such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or CE (Conformité Européenne) also indicate that the battery system meets stringent safety standards.

Additional Features

Consider additional features that enhance the functionality and usability of the portable battery backup power system. Look for built-in LED lights for illumination during emergencies, LCD screens or digital displays for monitoring battery status and remaining capacity, and integrated power inverters for converting DC power to AC power to run larger appliances or tools.

Selecting the right portable battery backup power system involves careful consideration of capacity, portability, input and output ports, charging options, battery type and technology, and safety features. By assessing your power needs and preferences and comparing the features of different battery systems, you can choose a reliable and versatile solution that provides peace of mind and ensures uninterrupted power whenever and wherever you need it. If you have questions about which portable backup battery system is right for you, get in touch with a technical expert at RELiON today.